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PLAN^IhG & DEVELOPMENT
Charles Towne Landing
sten carefully and you
"Walk softly in this pi
will hear the voices from the past.
>wne, Albemarle Point.
_..glish speaking Colony in South
Carolina was founded.
The year was 1670, Charles II sat on the throne
of England and the great westward movement was
writing pages of history. Wooden ships were bring-
in g men and women of courage to a new world.
One hundred and fifty of them came here, to this
point of high ground, and began carving a new life.
The passage of three centuries dims the history
of that settlement and its people, but walk these
shaded pathways and you journey back to another
place, another time.
Here, perhaps, a man went out from his rough
shelter, to hunt or to plow a field. And, perhaps, he
did not return, for life was hard and nature hostile.
Here, sheltered within the moss-draped folds of
the land, the seeds of a free nation were planted
The land tugs at you, calling you back through th
mists of time.
Walk softly here. Disturb not the ghosts of thos
STATE, October 23, 1966)
For nearly 300 years Old Town Plantation guarded
the secrets of the first permanent settlement in
South Carolina — Charles Towne 1670-1680. The
English settlers who came to Carolina to plant a col-
ony in 1670 chose this high bluff of land on the west
bank of the Ashley River because it was protected
by marshland and a tidal creek. The settlement at
Charles Towne grew and prospered, but a more
favorable situation for a town was found at Oyster
Point, a peninsula at the conjunction of the Ashley
and Cooper Rivers. In 1680, this new site officially
became the town of Charles Town, today the pres-
ent city of Charleston.
The success of the colony in those first critical
years attracted great numbers of people from di-
verse backgrounds and experiences. This rich mixture
of people created a prosperous and progressive
society whose wealth was second to none in the
History does not record what happened to the
original site until the I690's when "old towne plan-
tation" was granted to James Le Sade. The planta-
tion remained in private hands through the years,
protected from residential and commercial develop-
ment by its owners, until its acquisition and develop-
ment by the state of South Carolina on the occasion
of its 300th anniversary in 1970.
THE LAND CALLED CHICORA
"The ayr is clear and sweet, the countrey very pleasant and
delightful." — William Hilton, English explorer, in 1663.
No one knows for sure which European explorer
first set eyes on the mainland of what we now know
as North America. Viking ships visited the continent
in the I Oth century, but there are no historical rec-
ords of these early visits. The recorded history of the
first attempts to settle the continent centers on
that part of the east coast now comprising South
The first mention of the area was in reports from
Spanish explorers of the early 16th century. They
referred to the area as "the land called Chicora,"
its Indian name. The territory was granted by
Charles V, Emperor of Spain, to Lucas Vasquez de
Ayllon. Soon thereafter, in 1526, Ayllon established
San Miguel de Gualdape, the first European settle-
ment in North America above Mexico. It was situ-
ated on Waccamaw Neck near present day George-
town, South Carolina.
After only nine months, disease, treachery, and
harsh weather brought death to many, including the
leader Ayllon, and the colony was abandoned. Only
about 150 survivors of the original group of 600 re-
mained alive to return to Hispaniola (present day
Santo Domingo). Approximately 14 years later, Her-
nando de Soto marched through the inland region
of present day South Carolina on his way to the
Mississippi River. In 1561 another Spanish explorer,
Angel de Villafane, again explored the coast, but
left no permanent settlement.
France, which for some time had been engaged in
territorial rivalry with Spain, made the second at-
tempt to settle the North American mainland — also
in the South Carolina area. In the spring of 1562
Jean Ribaut touched on the northern Florida coast,
sailed up the coast of present day Georgia, and
settled at a spot near present Beaufort, South Car-
olina. There, he had his men place a stone column
bearing the arms of France and named the area Port
Royal. On an island, probably present day Parris
Island, he built Charlesfort. This was a structure of
approximately 96 x 78 feet, consisting of "a block-
house of logs and clay, thatched with straw with a
ditch around it, with four bastions, and bronze fal-
conets and six iron culverings therein." Ribaut sailed
away, leaving about 28 men in charge and planning
to return in six months with reinforcements. How-
ever, religious wars in France prevented this. Food
and morale began to run low at Charlesfort. The
French settlers left stranded by Ribaut constructed
a crude ship with the help of local Indians and sailed
for France, abandoning the settlement.
Several years later, in 1566, the Spanish under
Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine
and sent a small group to the Port Royal area, which
they renamed Santa Elena. Although this settlement
was destroyed ten years later by the Indians, the
Spaniards returned the next year, building Fort San
Marcos and the town of Santa Elena. This town grew
rapidly and by 1580 it was reported to have had
sixty houses. During this twenty-year period of
Spanish settlement, soldiers such as Juan Pardo ex-
plored the interior of South Carolina, building block
houses and leaving behind at least one inscribed
Spanish efforts to colonize the area of Carolina
ended when Sir Francis Drake burned St. Augustine
in 1586 and the settlers of Santa Elena and soldiers
of San Marcos were moved to St. Augustine to
strengthen it. Little remains in physical substance or
direct influence upon South Carolina from these
early attempted settlements by the Spaniards and
French. Their significance is the story of efforts,
failure, and international rivalry which preceded
the finally successful English settlement of 1670 in
On the island of Barbados in the West Indies, the
British established a permanent settlement in 1625.
Somewhat earlier in 1607, nearly a hundred years
after the first Spanish attempt to establish a perma-
nent settlement on the American mainland, the Brit-
ish founded the colony of Jamestown in Virginia. In
the next fifty years the British established in quick
succession colonies from Virginia northward to New
England. The area between Jamestown, the south-
ernmost British colony, and St. Augustine, the
northern outpost of the Spanish colonization on the
American mainland, finally received attention from
the British in 1663. It was not until 1670, however,
that colonists arrived to establish the settlement of
The unsettled Carolina area had attracted the at-
tention of dissatisfied English colonists in Barbados
for some years. Planters there needed more land,
and religious dissenters wanted a freer atmosphere
of worship. In August 1663 Captain William Hilton
sailed from Barbados to find a location in Carolina
for a proposed settlement by a group of Barbadians.
In 1666 Robert Sandford also sailed from Barbados
and explored the Carolina coast. They both wrote
glowing reports of the country which later helped
the Lords Proprietors secure English settlers.
Le Moyne, an artist, accompanied the French expedition of
1564 to Florida. Over the next twenty years he made a series
of paintings depicting the scenes he remembered and the
events of the French expeditions in 1562 and 1564. They were
engraved by a Flemish engraver, De Bry, and published in
1591. The illustrations above are copied from De Bry's work.
Captain William Hilton wrote of Carolina:
"The lands are laden with large tall oaks, walnut
and bayes, except facing on the sea it is most pines
tall and good: The land generally ... is a good soyl,
covered with black mold . . . with clay underneath
mixed with sand; and we think may produce any-
thing as well as most part of the Indies that we
"The Indians plant in the worst land because they
cannot cut down the timber in the best, and yet
have plenty of corn, pompions, water-mellons, musk-
mellons. Although the land be over grown with
weeds through their lasinesse, yet they have two or
three crops of corn a year, as the Indians themselves
"The countrey abounds with grapes, large figs,
and peaches; the woods with deer, conies, turkeys,
quails, curlues, plovers, teile, herons, and as the
Indians say, in winter with swans, geese, cranes, duck
and mallard, and innumerable of other waterfowls,
whose names we know not, which lie in the rivers,
marshes, and on the sands.
"Oysters in abundance, with great store of mus-
cles. . . . The rivers stored plentifully with fish that
we saw play and leap.
"There are great marshes, but most as far as we
saw little worth, except for a root that grows in
them the Indians make good bread of.
"The ayr is clear and sweet, the countrey very
pleasant and delightful. And we could wish that all
they that want a happy settlement of our English
nation were well transported thither."
". . . call it the Province of Carolina."
— Charles II, 1663 Carolina Charter.
Charles II of England granted Carolina in 1663 to
eight men who supported him in his days of exile.
All of these men were involved in numerous trading
and colonizing ventures, and they wanted to develop
Carolina as a commercial enterprise. The "Lords and
Proprietors" of Carolina included John Lord Berke-
ley, his brother, Sir William Berkeley, William Earl
of Craven, Sir George Carteret, and Sir John
Colleton. Several were men of exceptional ability.
Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, was Charles ll's
leading minister. George Monk, Duke of Albemarle,
was the person most important in restoring him to
his throne. Anthony Ashley Lord Cooper, later Earl
of Shaftesbury, wrote the significant habeas corpus
act and became the chief leader of the effort to
In issuing the charter, Charles II had said ". . . call
it the Province of Carolina." The "Carolina" Charles
II granted was a tract about 350 miles deep and
2,500 miles wide, reaching from Cape Canaveral to
Albemarle Sound and stretching from the Atlantic
to the Pacific.
The Proprietors held the grant for six years with-
out developing an effective program to start a set-
tlement. Lord Ashley Cooper took the leadership in
1669 and soon dominated the affairs of the project.
The Carolina or Port Royal expedition began to
Ashley Cooper had his friend and secretary, the
eminent English philosopher John Locke, draw up a
system of government called the Fundamental Con-
stitutions. Although it was never actually accepted
by the settlers of South Carolina, who had the right
to reject laws, this remarkable document influenced
the colony and the policies of the Proprietors. It had
feudal aspects as well as surprisingly democratic
ones for its time.
The Proprietors desired to establish a landed
aristocracy which would own two-fifths of the land
and have the titles of Landgrave and Cassique.
Some men were given the title of Landgrave. (This
only attempt to establish a titled nobility in Amer-
ica failed, although a natural aristocracy based on
land ownership developed.) The remaining three-fifths
of land were to belong to the people, for Locke and
Ashley Cooper wanted a "balance of government"
between aristocracy and democracy. The Constitu-
tions supported a surprising degree of latitude for
the colonists in local government and a substantial
measure of religious toleration. "No person what-
soever shall disturb, molest, or prosecute another
for his speculative opinions in religion, or his way
The Lords Proprietors hoped to enrich themselves
and to contribute to the greatness of England as
well. All of these men saw clearly that England's
future lay in trade. Carolina's importance was not
only as a real estate development, but also as a
producer of trade with England. They hoped com-
modities such as wine, silk, olives, oranges, and rai-
sins of Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Near
East could be grown here. For this they needed
settlers who would become planters.
Inducements to settle, such as the offer of land
to individuals, the promise of a voice in their gov-
ernment, and an atmosphere of religious toleration,
were offered by the Lords Proprietors in the Funda-
mental Constitutions and in general provisions.
Settlers could expect religious toleration that con-
trasted most favorably with the then almost universal
intolerance. In government they were to have a Gov-
ernor and Council appointed from among their own
number. The colonists were themselves to choose
Lord Ashley Cooper, later the Earl of Shaftesbury, became
the chief leader of the effort to establish Carolina.
members of a General Assembly. Every free man above six-
teen years old would be given 50 acres of land and a like
amount for every slave, servant, or member of his family. In-
dentured servants who had served their terms were to receive
land in the same manner.
A promotional pamphlet for "The Province of Carolina,"
issued in 1666, promised opportunity for all new settlers.
For gentry without estates, artisans seeking a better fortune,
and even women without husbands, it declared that oppor-
tunity existed. "Is there therefore any younger Brother who
is born of gentil blood and yet . . . hath not . . . suitable for-
tune? Here, with a few Servants and a small Stock a great
Estate may be raised. . . ."
Those unable to pay for passage were told, "Let no man
be troubled at the thoughts of being a Servant for 4 or 5
years [an indentured servant whose voyage would be paid
for by a master]. So soon as he is out of his time, he hath
land and tools, and clothes given him, and is in a way of
"If any maid or single woman have a desire to go over,
they will think themselves in the Golden Age, when men paid
a dowry for their wives, for if they be but civil, and under
50 years of Age, some honest man or other will purchase
them for their wives."
To establish a colony, the Proprietors had not only to in-
terest settlers in leaving for a new land, but to provide ships,
equipment, and provisions. Three vessels were purchased and
refitted at a considerable cost for the voyage. Re-named the
CAROLINA, a former merchant frigate of about 200 tons
with sixteen guns was to carry 93 of the 148 settlers. The
PORT ROYAL was a frigate of only half that tonnage and
the ALBEMARLE, a sloop or shallop, was 30 tons. Only
one of these ships, the CAROLINA, was destined to
The venture was well planned and supplied. The King sent
twelve cannon. Small arms included 200 French firelocks and
I 2 suits of armor. Provisions of food for I 8 months were sent,
but a large portion was lost at sea.
Careful attention was given to tools and supplies for arti-
sans. There were six sets of carpenters' and joiners' tools, two
sets of coopers' tools and one set of smiths' tools. Implements
also included were a quantity of scythes, hoes, axes, ham-
mers, saws, and shovels.
Realizing other items could be gotten through trade with
the Indians, 240 pounds of glass beads, 300 hatchets, 100
hoes, four gross of knives, and two gross of "Sizzard" (scis-
sors) were loaded for bargaining purposes.
The prosaic details of good planning and ample supplies
and provisions in large measure account for the success of
the colony. There were other favoring circumstances. The
strong connection with the prosperous and well established
colony of Barbados helped the new undertaking. The colonists
themselves were a direct and capable sort and they landed
among friendly Indians who gave a substantial amount of
"From aboard the CAROLINA,
now riding in the Downs."
— Joseph West, August, 1669.
The little fleet of three ships and their passengers that assembled at an an-
chorage known as "the Downs" off the coast of Dover faced a voyage of some
7,000 miles and nearly nine months. The best route from England to the new
world was a roundabout one from Engand down toward the Canary Islands off
Africa, across the Atlantic to the nearest Caribbean English colony, Barbados,
then up to the American mainland. Winds and currents favored this route and
were significant factors in saving time and supplies of food and water.
From the Dover coast the fleet went to Kinsale, Ireland, in August of 1669.
Sailing from Kinsale on September 17, they covered the 5,000 miles to Barba-
dos by late October. Voyages of that time proceeded at rates of between
two and seven miles per hour, almost utterly dependent upon the winds and
currents of the open sea. The trip from Barbados to Carolina may have been
fewer miles, but it would take considerably longer, as it was plagued with haz-
ards and adverse weather.
The first mishap began at Barbados where the ALBEMARLE broke its moor-
ing in a storm and wrecked. Its passengers survived and replaced it with a sloop,
the THREE BROTHERS. The fleet left Barbados in late November, proceeding
to the Island of Nevis. There, the group of settlers were joined by Henry Wood-
ward, a man who was to have a vital influence on the colony and its fortunes.
Sailing as a young man on Sandford's trip to explore the Carolina coast, he
remained behind to live with the Indians and learn their language. Before Sand-
ford left, he gave young Woodward "formall possession of the whole coun-
try to hold as tennant att will" for the Lords Proprietors. Eventually word of his
presence in the Port Royal area spread to the Spaniards, who came and took
him as a captive to St. Augustine. He escaped when the English buccaneer,
Captain Robert Searle, raided the town in 1688. For a time he sailed the Carib-
bean as a "Chrurugeon" (surgeon) on a privateer, seeking funds for his passage
back to England. However, a hurricane wrecked the ship he was on near Nevis.
He was awaiting passage to England when the Carolina-bound fleet put in
briefly at Nevis due to bad weather. Woodward guickly joined the group
headed for Carolina.
After leaving Nevis in early December, the ships were separated a month
later by another storm. The CAROLINA put in at Bermuda and the THREE
BROTHERS at Nansemond River, Virginia. The PORT ROYAL was wrecked on
reefs near Abaco in the Bahamas after six weeks of wandering. The Captain,
John Russell, wrote, "Haveinge beene six weeks beating from place to place by
reason of continuance of foule weather, we. . . were driven to such great want of
water that wee were all ready to perish." The 44 people aboard reached
shore, although many died before the Captain could build a new vessel. They
eventually reached Bermuda, where they acquired a sloop, name unknown, and
joined the CAROLINA.
Three weeks after leaving Bermuda, the CAROLINA and the Bermuda sloop
reached the mainland coast at Bull's Bay in mid-March. On March 21 they
reached Port Royal, their original destination. Friendly greetings and crafty
salesmanship awaited the English colonists in 1670. The assistance and good
feeling of the Indians would not only see the colonists through the first year,
but would actually influence significantly the site of settlement.
The Indians conveyed their reaction of friendliness
and gladness to the English arrival in Spanish phrases,
saying "Bony Conraro Angles." A quaint account of
the English settlers' first meeting with Indians when the
frigate CAROLINA found land at Sewee Bay, now
Bull's Bay, has been preserved in Nicholas Carteret's
letter. The following are excerpts from it.
"Upon [the ship's] approach to the land ... the na-
tives . . . came towards us whooping in their own tone
and manner, making signs also where we should best
land, and when we came ashore they stroaked us on
the shoulders with their hands, saying "BONY CON-
Several days later, the colonists visited the mainland
again. "As we drew to the shore ... a good number of
Indians appeared, clad with deare skins, having with
them bows and arrows. . . . The Governor [William
Sayle] and several others came to the Hutt Pallace of
his Magesty of the place . . . Here we had nuts and
root cakes such as their women useily make, as before,
and watter to drink."
"While we were here [the Chief's house], his Mag-
esty's three daughters entered the Pallace all in new
roabs of new Mosse, with plenty of beads of divers
collours about their necks. I could not imagine that the
Savages would so well deport themselves, who coming
in according to their age and all to salute the
Strangers, stroaking of them."
Within two days of the English arrival at Bull's Bay,
the Indian Cassique of Kiawah (region of the Ashley
River) arrived and asked the English to settle at Kia-
wah. (The coastal tribes saw the English as protection
against hostile Indians.) Failing to persuade them, this
chief sailed with the colonists to the settlement area
proposed at Port Royal by the Lords Proprietors. The
Port Royal Indians rejoiced at the English arrival as pro-
tection from the feared Westo (a warlike tribe who
lived inland along the Savannah River and frequently
raided their less aggressive neighbors on the coast),
and greeted them with "Hiddy doddy Comorado
Angles, Westoe Skoyyre." Carteret translated this to
be "English very good friends, Westos are nought."
The encouragement of the Port Royal Indians and
the original plan of the colonists all spoke for their set-
tling at Port Royal, but the Cassique of Kiawah had a
different idea. Seeking advantage for his own tribe,
the Cassique again urged a location on the Kiawah
(Ashley) River. The arguments of the Cassique of
Kiawah, bolstered by the support of Henry Woodward
and the favorable report of an exploratory party
to his area, determined the location of the Carolina
In early April of 1670 they landed at Albemarle
Point on the Kiawah (Ashley) River. On May 23, the
THREE BROTHERS arrived, after having several pas-
sengers and crew captured by the Spaniards and In-
dians on St. Catherine Island below present Savannah.
Finally, all three vessels landed their passengers. In
spite of peril, shipwreck, and suffering, these hardy
people had pressed on toward their original purpose
of settling Carolina.
'We i,., Bridge
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"We thought it most conducing to our safety, to build a
town ... it being a point with a very convenient landing."
— Carolina Council to Lords Proprietors, March 27, 1671.
Those who sailed up the Ashley River in 1670 and
landed on its west bank chose wisely their place to set-
tle. The nine acre site of fertile, elevated land was not
visible to vessels coming in from the sea. Protected by
an "inaccessible Marshe" on the river side, the steep
bank of a creek gave protection on the other and a
good boat landing to the site. The approach from land
could be closed by a short palisade.
The colonists themselves first called their settlement
Abemarle Point, but Lord Ashley, in a letter from Eng-
land November I, 1670, informed them, "the Towne
you are now planted on we have named and you are
to call Charles Towne."
- Danger from the Spaniards and uncertainty of the
Indians caused the settlers to keep close together un-
til more people came. As late as September 1670
Joseph West wrote that they had taken up only ten
acres per head near the town. "Settled in the very
chaps of the Spaniards," the small colony was forced to
live as much as soldiers as farmers. Governor William
Sayle, who had joined the settlers in Bermuda, wrote
of the need for more settlers. These would "conduce
much to the safety of this place," for the colonists had
been heavily burdened with keeping watch and build-
Culpepper's map of the first Charles Towne in 1671 from the
The first year defense seemed more important to
the colonists than planting crops. In August of 1670
friendly Indians warned the council at Charles Towne
of an approaching large party of Indians under the
leadership of Spaniards. A fleet of three Spanish ves-
sels approached and rode outside the harbor entrance.
The Wando, Etiwan, Kiawah, and Sewee Indians came
to the colonists' aid. As Stephen Bull reported, "All the
Indians about us came in with their full strength to our
ayde." The colonists and their Indian allies were saved
from fighting by good fortune. The Spanish Indians
were frightened by the suddent return of the CARO-
LINA, which had been seeking supplies in Virginia, and
by the size of the settlers' cannons. A storm drove the
Spanish fleet out to sea and the expedition returned
to St. Augustine, ending that attempt to destroy
The Proprietors had sent out the Carolina expedi-
tion well stocked with food and instructed West, "You
are weekly to deliver ... to every three men — 9
pounds of beef and 1 4 guarts of pease." But the wreck-
ing of two out of the three ships on the voyage lost
most of the provisions. The settlers had been instructed
to immediently begin growing food crops, but the long
voyage and the emphasis on defense had caused this
planting to suffer. The CAROLINA was dispatched to
Virginia and the sloop to Bermuda the first summer to
bring back much needed supplies, for the rations had
gotten as low as a pint of peas per man each day.
Governor Sayle wrote that "Wee have been put to
purchase our maintenance from the Indians, and that in
such small parcles as we could hardly get another sup-
ply before the former was gone." Stephen Bull wrote
of the problem in gentler tones to Lord Ashley. "Wee
found very great assistance from the Indians, who
shewed themselves very kinde and sould us Provisions
at very reasonable rates. . . . Otherwise wee must un-
doubtedly have binn putt to extreme hardshipps."
It was through the invaluable help of Henry Wood-
ward that the colony secured the loyality and much
needed food from the Indians. The colony's Council
reported in September of 1670, "The doctor hath
lately been exceedingly useful to us in dealing with the
Indians for our supplyes who by his means have fur-
nished us beyond our expectations."
Henry Woodward, this most singular man, was a
doctor, adventurer, and pioneer of English expansion in
the lower South. He developed the trade for animal
skins with the Indians which was the first consider-
able source of wealth for the colony. This also involved
an important series of alliances with Indian nations
throughout the lower South. Woodward, in combina-
tion with Joseph West, the most capable leader of the
early years, was largely responsible for the success of
the infant colony.
The main business of the colony was to develop
plantations, growing goods for trade with England. The
Carolina expedition came with very careful and de-
tailed instructions to experiment with and find the
plants and crops most suited for this new land. They
were to do no more than experiment with different
plants until "you have sufficiently provided for ye belly
by planting store provision." Ice, an inch thick the first
winter, killed many of the plants. However, planted
again the following year many fared better and would
in time become important commercial crops, such as
rice, indigo, and later cotton.
This agricultural experimenting was to be done on a
tract of land outside the town set aside as a plantation
for the Proprietors. West wrote he had cleared thirty
acres, built houses for himself and the indentured
servants of the Proprietors, and palisades fit to hold
against a thousand Indians. This was located across the
creek and marsh south of the Landing site. A bridge
connected it to the village area.
Despite the glowing advertisements and the favora-
ble letters the settlers wrote home, hardships abounded
and growth was slow. Supplies of all sorts were running
low, especially clothing. The fears of a cold winter were
right, "I have seen ice about an inch thick of one night's
freezing butt not snow. . . ." Fortunately sickness was
not a major problem, for during the first summer only
four deaths were reported from "distempers". In the
spring the need for more settlers was helped by the
arrival of 106 people from Barbados.
The first Governor, William Sayle, died in March
when 81 years old. Joseph West was named Acting
Governor by the settlers' Council.
The spring of 1671 found the colony facing its sec-
ond year with reasonably encouraging prospects. The
friendship of the Indians had been secured and the
lucrative trade with them for skins begun. Lumbering
had become the basis of a profitable commerce with
the West Indies. Land for sufficient planting had been
cleared. The Barbadian settlers formed a helpful bond
with prosperous West Indian colonies. A new English
community, the southern frontier of the English colo-
nies, had been established.
THE FIRST TEN YEARS
"industrious and ingenious persons . . . willing to partake of the
Felicities of this Country."
— Robert Home, A Brief Description of the Province of Carolina.
During the first ten years Charles Towne survived a
precarious and painful struggle for mere existence and
developed into a growing and important colony.
The best description of the infant colony was pro-
vided by a Spanish agent who reported on the settle-
ment in May or June of 1672. Camunas, a soldier in
St. Augustine, was sent openly by the Spanish Gov-
ernor of Florida with letters for the English Governor,
but with secret instructions to observe the English set-
tlement. The following descriptions are taken from the
report Camunas made as sent to Spain by the Span-
"The place where they have the village built is a
wooded village consisting of dwelling houses without
having any formal streets although he could count
about ninety houses, some higher than others appar-
ently according to the means of each individual. And
in this same tract they have their fields of maize,
pumpkins, cow-peas, peas and in each house their trel-
lises for grape vines of different sorts. And also a great
quantity of sweet potatoes and some fig trees.
"And from the village along the edge of the river
some houses continue', all of wood and disposed with
much regularity, until one comes near the fort. . . .
Inside of this fortification there are some lodgings and
others of the same sort outside of it which, as he was
informed, were buiit at first when they began to settle
for fear of the Indians.
"He saw in the settlement about two hundred and
fifty men who could bear arms without an additional
number who were working in the plantations of maize
and other crops, and also many others who went out
in launches to fish for turtle and fish, that he could not
tell whether he had seen them all or not, without an-
other number of over a hundred Negroes, all of whom
bear arms in the shape of shot-guns and cutlasses as
this deponent saw in an alarm which was given them
by some Indian warriors.
"It appeared to him that ships and frigates of good
burden could enter [the harbor] because he saw an out-
rigger with yards which was about to sail for the island
of Barbados whence they receive what they need in
the way of food and other necessities. Also saw an-
other ship, a new one which they have in the shipyard
and which they will finish very soon. The Governor told
him that the ship was being built for him and that he
was also expecting from Barbados his fleet of ships in
which more people were coming to them, both men
and women, clothes and what else was needed as well
as supplies and cattle of all sorts for stock."
He also saw from a distance that Oyster Point (the
peninsula on which modern Charleston is located) was
"They are settling a wooded 'island' [Oyster Point]
which is surrounded by two arms of rivers. On this
island there is apparently a settlement of English
people because there may be seen some guantity of
houses, some high and others low; and he saw that they
were living in this island and had about twenty
launches. He heard it said that they were removing
stumps and clearing away the woods in order to build
a fort on it because of its being on the passage and
port by which the ships enter."
The population grew slowly at first. At the begin-
ning of 1672, 337 men, 71 women, and 62 children had
arrived, according to the secretary of the colony. Of
these, 43 men, two women, and three children were
dead and 16 missing or absent. Maps show the settlers
spreading out along the waterways, taking up land to
plant. At first white indentured servants composed a
major part of the population. These, subjected to pub-
lic whipping to enforce discipline and labor, served
terms of servitude running to seven years. This inden-
tured labor was augmented, and later surpassed, by
Negro slaves and attempts at Indian slavery.
Unfortunately the Indians soon had reason to regret
their enthusiasm for the English, and the colonists like-
wise began to differ with the Indians. Abuses devel-
oped in trade with the Indians, and they in turn began
to steal corn, hogs, and poultry from outlying planta-
tions. By the fall of 1671 the period of harmony ended
as a "warr" effort was made against the tribes living
to the south of Charles Towne.
The Indians, unmindful of destroying each other,
were willing to fight for the Europeans against other
tribes. Henry Woodward formed an alliance in the fall
of 1674 with the Westo Indians living inland on the
Savannah River. This was the same tribe the coastal
Indians had originally sought the English settlement
to protect them against. For several years this alliance
was the cornerstone of Charles Towne's Indian rela-
tions. With guns supplied by Woodward, the Westos
made destructive raids against the Spanish missions in
Georgia. It was the beginning of a buffer system
against the Spanish and French based on Indian alli-
ances and trade, which would expand by 1700 to the
Since the Proprietors had sought profit as their
motive for financing the settling of Carolina, their in-
terests and those of the settlers guickly developed into
conflict. Instructions from England were full of remind-
ers to keep for the Proprietors the best land and rich-
est part of the Indian trade, and to keep strict account
of the debts of the settlers for advances on supplies
and equipment at eight or ten per cent interest. The
Proprietors were considerably distraught to learn that
one of the first acts of the Carolina colony had been
to send a ship's load of lumber to Barbados with the
colonists receiving all of the return and the Proprie-
The Proprietors had good reason to be concerned.
They had invested heavily in the Carolina expedition
and later in support of the colony. For this outlay of
funds they received scant return. Even Lord Ashley, as
the years of meager income piled up, joined the
threats to stop all further help to those "idlers living
at our expense." By 1679 the Proprietors had spent
£ 18,000 (possibly as much as a million dollars in cur-
rent value) for little more than "vexation and poverty."
Eventually the mutual displeasure, caused by abuse
and neglect from both sides, would change Carolina
into a royal colony. Nevertheless, the successful begin-
nings of the Charles Towne Colony rested upon good
planning and support by the Lords Proprietors.
Large, productive plantations could not develop at
once in a wilderness. Lumber and forest products were
the first items exported for a return. The beginnings
of an Indian trade, developed by Henry Woodward,
were underway. From 1670-1680 the bulk of the trade
occurred between Carolina and Barbados for neces-
sities. Timber, barrel staves, and tobacco were ex-
changed for sugar, rum, molasses, other food supplies,
and needed items.
Settlers from Barbados came to be a significant part
of the population. The Barbadians included many of
the strongest and most capable personalities. These
men, experienced colonists and planters confident from
their success in the older colony, would be a powerful
influence on the developing Carolina colony.
The government of the young settlement consisted
of the Governor, appointed by the Proprietors, the
Grand Council, and the popularly elected Parliament
of twenty members. Elections for the Parliament were
by ballot. It is thought that since the settlers' first elec-
tion in 1670, all elections in South Carolina have been
by ballot, a method not used by the people of Eng-
land until two centuries later.
Conflict and political infighting were not strangers
to the early colony. Disturbances had been led by the
Surveyor General Culpepper, Captain Grey, and
others. These had to flee or were banished. Political
factions intensified when Sir John Yeamans pushed out
Joseph West for a period as Governor.
Despite frequent shortages of provisions and tools,
trouble from the Indians, fear of the Spaniards, and
the internal political problems, the colony by 1680 had
grown to number about 1,100. In the next two years
its population would double. Carolina was at last a
firmly established and growing colony.
Gascoynes' adaptation of Maurice Mathewes' Map of Charlc
the water routes.
Towne, 1682, which shows how the settlers had spread out along
THE COLONY: 1680 TO THE REVOLUTION
"Few [colonies] have, in the space of a hundred years, improved
and flourished in an equal degree."
—Alexander Hewat, 1779.
In the spring of 1680 the colony moved its town site
across the Ashley River. There, on Oyster Point, the
second Charles Towne took shape. This tongue of land
between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers had been re-
served soon after the settlers arrived in 1670 to be
the permanent site of the town when the colony grew
stronger. The peninsular commanded both rivers for
access and defense and had good anchorage. The old
village, though not completely abandoned, became
known as "Old Charles Towne" or simply "Old Town."
The small colony spreading out from Charles Towne
(the spelling was not changed to Charleston until after
the Revolution), was destined to be come one of the
most important and wealthiest in British America. Dur-
ing the I 680's and afterward it grew rapidly. It would
find its wealth, as the Proprietors had envisioned, by
trade based on the products of the land. However,
trade with the Indians for animal skins, especially deer
skins, brought the first significant money and estab-
lished the colony economically.
As the colonists exported skins, barrel staves, pitch,
tar, and other naval stores, as well as beef and lumber,
the search continued for a money earning staple crop.
The experimenting done with oranges, ginger, grapes,
olives, figs, and other plants produced no bonaza crop.
Hope for the potential of silk production saw a gover-
nor name his plantation "Silk Hope," and the Lords
Proprietors commissioned a Huguenot settlement to
experiment with silk and wine production. A more aptly
named plantation became "Rice Hope."
Rice seed came to Charles Towne from Madagascar
and slightly later from India. Rice production reached
significant quantities in the I690's. In the first seven
months of 1700, 300 tons went to England and 30 to
the West Indies. From then it increased rapidly to be
a magnificent crop for the next two centuries. At first
rice was cultivated in inland fresh water swamps. Later
its culture moved onto land flooded by fresh water
from tidal streams.
Dangers and troubles abounded for the Charles
Towne colony. Fighting between St. Augustine and
Charles Towne, done through their Indian allies, set the
stage for direct fighting between 1702-1706. Charles
Towne was by then a walled city, the only one in Eng-
lish North America. Disease in the form of small pox
took a fearful toll from 1697-99. In February of 1698
a fire, the first of many to come, put a third of Charles
Towne in ashes. A plague killed many cattle and an
earthguake terrorized the inhabitants. In the early fall
of 1699 yellow fever made its first frightening visita-
tion, killing at least 160 people in the town. Later that
fall a hurricane flooded the town, forcing people to
the upper stories and sinking a shipload of immigrants
approaching the harbor.
Among the new immigrants to Carolina who poured
in after 1680 were the French Huguenots. The Hugue-
nots made an impact on South Carolina far out of pro-
portion to the number that actually came. These exiles,
attracted to South Carolina by the policy of religious
freedom, were welcomed for the skills which they
brought. Most were capable artisans or farmers. Some
few were of the lower nobility, but basically their aris-
tocracy was of worth rather than blood. Despite the
desperate poverty in which most arrived, they were
soon self-sustaining. Through their moral and in-
tellectual fiber they exercised significant influence on
The colony had begun with an official policy of re-
ligious tolerance. This was reflected in the founding of
many non-Anglican groups in the I680's and 1690's.
By I 702 the colony was 45 per cent Presbyterian, 42
per cent Anglican, 10 per cent Baptist, and two and
one half per cent Quaker. Many of the early governors
had been Dissenters. In the Church Act of I 706, the
Anglican Church did become the established church,
but Dissenters were allowed to be in the Assembly and
have other privileges.
Life in the young colony, though existing in constant
contact with the harsh realities of a new and wilderness
world, began to reflect attention to the finer points of
living. Schools and libraries claimed public and private
attention and funds. The Anglican parochial library set
up in 1698 was immediately enlarged by the Assem-
bly to a "public library." This is the first known instance
of government support for a library in the future
United States. The free school acts of 1710 and 1712
provided for the education of a few students at pub-
lic expense with those that were able paying fees. A
school at Goose Creek in 1712 was teaching I 7 whites,
two Indians, and one Negro. Although many schools
and tutors would function in colonial South Carolina, a
college would not be established because those families
with the financial means preferred to send their sons
"back" to England to the universities and law schools.
The Act of 1712 created a comprehensive law code. A
society which thought itself English was becoming es-
tablished on the edge of the frontier.
The Indians of the southeast supposedly in alli-
ance with South Carolina in 1715 numbered some 27,-
000, of these 9,000 were men. Abuses by the traders
among them and resentment of the Indians near the
colonists over having their lands taken led to the
bloody and involved Yamassee War of 1715-17. The
colonists, with the aid of the Cherokee who joined
them as allies, finally subdued the uprising.
By 1718 attention in Charles Towne was focused on
the serious and mammouth threat posed by the pirates.
They played havoc with the now valuable cargoes
coming and going from the city. They even captured
prominent citizens and held them for ransom. The col-
ony undertook a major and effective campaign against
them. One month, November of 1718, saw 49 pirates
hanged in Charles Towne. In the face of such deter-
mined repression piracy ceased to be a menace.
In 1719 the Commons House led a political revolu-
tion in the colony to overthrow the Proporietors and
petitioned the crown to make South Carolina a royal
colony. Ten years later this was made official.
Almost from the beginning of Carolina it became
customary to refer to a "South" and a "North" Caro-
lina. Administratively, geographically, and economic-
ally there were always two separate entities. The terms
began appearing in legal documents in the late I 600's.
In I 735 a survey was ordered to divide the two, but it
was 1815, long after the Carolinas were states, that
final ratification was given the boundary.
! &&&JA ' ■
Illustration of a slave working, probably on indigo, from William
DeBrahm's 1750 map of South Carolina.
South Carolina in the half-century leading to the
Revolution became an expanded and diverse colony.
In the Low Country the society became probably the
most wealthy and sophisticated in British North Amer-
ica. Charles Towne, supported by the plantation coun-
tryside, became a major city of British America with
close ties to England. Away from the coastal region,
small plantations, townships, and frontier homesteads
developed as the colony grew.
By the I 730's, South Carolina had become a mature,
stable colony, which was ready to expand. A plan for
settling nine townships located in a buffer-like semi-
circle sixty or more miles inland from Charles Towne
was developed. The immigrants who came were poor
protestants from Europe and settlers from the North-
ern colonies. Some evolved a planters' society; others
remained artisans, mechanics, or small farmers. Into the
back country beyond the townships the Ulster Scots or
Scotch-Irish came to settle. Their vigorous energy and
self-reliance made them well suited to settle the fron-
tier. Their numbers became significant in the mid-to-
later- 1 700's when, "in one of the mightiest migrations
in colonial times," they made their way down from
Pennsylvania through the valleys of Virginia and North
Carolina along the "Great Wagon Road." The town-
ships and the influx of settlers into the back country
began a transformation in the extent and nature of
South Carolina. Charles Towne would remain the domi-
nant power within the province, but the Up Country
would struggle to assert itself.
On the eve of the American Revolution South Car-
olina was a diverse mixture of frontier farmers and
prosperous planters and merchants. To the early Eng-
lishmen, Barbadians, and Huguenots, and the growing
number of African slaves, had been added the Ger-
mans, Swiss, Scots, French, and Welsh of the townships
and the Scotch-Irish of the back country.
The Revolution in South Carolina would be a bloody
civil conflict. Those Carolinians of all classes and geo-
graphic areas who wanted independence would fight
those who still favored ties with England. It was no
accident that here, where some of the strongest push
for independence was shown and where also deep cul-
tural and economic ties existed with England, it should
be a civil conflict. In South Carolina the Revolution
would number more engagements, 137 presently
counted, and the expense per capita would be greater
than in any other colony. The Revolution saw the ma-
ture colony of South Carolina, which, although settled
late, had rapidly developed in a century to become a
The Edward Crisp 1704 map of Charles Towne showing it as a
The Lords Proprietors' plantation in 1671. Here Joseph West conducted the agricultural experimentation and resided as Proprietors'
agent and later as Governor.
CHARLES TOWNE LANDING EXPOSITION PARK
The present exposition park of Charles Towne Land-
ing encompasses approximately 200 acres of high
ground bordered on two sides by marshland and on
the south by Old Town Creek. Once the site of the
first permanent settlement of Carolina, the Landing
exists today in the very heart of burgeoning metropoli-
tan Charleston. Since the late seventeenth century
when the official site of the town was changed, the
area has been known as Old Town Plantation. That
it has never been developed as residential property is
due in large measure to its owners who have preserved
the natural beauty of the site of the 1670 settlement.
As the state of South Carolina began its plans for
development of Charles Towne Landing in 1968, one
of the most serious problems facing the planners was
the infestation of insects that plagues all coastal land
adjacent to the marshlands. The problem was given to
a committee representing the South Carolina Board of
Health, the Marine Resources of South Carolina, and
the Entomology Department of Clemson University.
The program devised by this group has experienced
definite success in controlling the mosguito and deerfly,
while maintaining an ecological balance in the area.
Today, the ten-acre area fortified by the settlers in
the first year of settlement has been located and par-
tially reconstructed by archaeologists. Near the en-
trance to the 1670 fortified area, a full scale recon-
struction trading ketch of the seventeenth century, the
ADVENTURE, is moored in Old Town Creek. Visitors
may board the ADVENTURE and see the area where
the cargo was stored and the sleeping quarters for
For a period of time, the settlers lived within the
fortified area, but Charles Towne soon extended much
beyond the original fortified boundaries on the tip of
Albemarle Point. Where houses and farming plots once
stood, eighty acres of beautiful gardens now exist
landscaped by former owners. Seven miles of bike and
walk trails expose thousands of visitors each year to
the quiet beauty of the landscaped gardens, the seren-
ity of the marshland, and the natural beauty of the
wooded areas. Twenty acres of the woodlands have
been adapted for the Animal Forest, a unique display
of animals which gives visitors a chance to see the wild-
life that lived in Carolina in the I600's in their natural
habitats. In the Animal Forest, bison, timber wolves,
and other wild animals live undisturbed.
For many who visit the Landing for the first time and
return again and again, the magic of its attraction re-
mains the abundance of natural beauty. The feelings
experienced remind the visitor of the awe and wonder
experienced by the settlers as they explored the virgin
areas of Carolina.
The exposition and service buildings have all been
constructed in an area that does not intrude upon the
natural beauty of the gardens and historic area. The
movie, "Carolina," filmed on location in South Caro-
lina and shown on a regular basis at the Charles Towne
Landing theater, recreates the voyage of the settlers
in 1670 and sets the mood for visiting the site of the
first settlement. The exhibits in the pavilion tell the
story of the colonial period and the accomplishments
of the settlers. A snack bar, gift shop and restroom
facility complete the development of the park to date,
but the potential for future development is great.
Plans are underway for additional attractions designed
to make the learning of history an unique recreational
experience never to be forgotten.
Situated on a high point of ground, in approxi-
mately the same area chosen several hundred years
ago by a group of Indians for a ceremonial center, is
the exhibit pavilion. Here the story of Carolina's first
hundred years as an American colony is exhibited
through a variety of media. To give tangible evi-
dence to this part of Carolina's history, important
artifacts have been selected for display in combina-
tion with illustrative materials, film, and sound. The
exhibit area was so designed that even the most
hurried visitor will take with him new and stimulat-
ing impressions of the colonial period.
The circular ramp leading to the lower level sur-
rounds large wrought iron reproductions of the coats
of arms of the eight Lords Proprietors, the men who
owned and governed Carolina for nearly half of the
colonial period until the colony came under royal jur-
isdiction in 1729.
Through the exhibits on the lower level, the history
of Carolina is traced from the austerity of the first
years of settlement to the wealth and sophistication
of the established colony. The rapid change from
exhibits concerned with the pioneering period of the
first decades in the Low-Country to the exhibits on
the prosperous and thriving colony of merchants and
farmers will remind the visitor that this transition
took less than fifty years.
The early success of the colony was due in large
measure to the dreams and industriousness of the
people who came to Carolina. Representing diverse
backgrounds, they all came to create a new and bet-
ter life for themselves in a land whose favorable soil
and climate promised much. The exhibits illustrate
how these early settlers struggled to adapt to this
strange land and provide for themselves in the midst
of the wilderness.
The land of Carolina was found to be good for
many crops from the very beginning, and the set-
tlers worked hard to find staple crops that could be
exported in great quantities. The profits from the
trade in animal skins brought in by the Indians pro-
vided the first major source of revenue for the col-
ony, but the land yielded products that soon pro-
duced even greater wealth.
Although many crops grew well in Carolina soil,
rice and indigo and later cotton found the most
favorable markets. The large scale production of
these products dictated a plantation system with its
need for a large labor force. With the planta-
tion system came a way of life that lasted through
the mid-nineteenth century and left an indelible
stamp upon the character of the state. The exhibits
on rice and indigo and cotton combine illustrations
showing the cultivation of each with actual imple-
The flora and fauna supported by the land are
represented through the works of Mark Catesby,
the most important naturalist in America until Audu-
bon. Catesby worked in South Carolina in the early
I 700's and published his Natural History of Caro-
lina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, in 1732.
The wealth that poured into the colony from the
highly successful combination of trade and agricul-
ture resulted in the highest per capita income in the
colonies. Charleston, the center of trading activities
in Carolina, became in essence a "city state" domi-
nating the political and cultural mores of the colony.
Edmund Burke said of Charleston that "it ap-
proaches more nearly to the social refinement of a
great European capital" than any other American
city. A New Englander, Josiah Quincy described
Charleston in 1773 by saying, "in general, that in
grandeur, splendor of buildings, decorations, equip-
ages, numbers, shippings, and indeed in almost ever-
thing, it far surpasses all I ever saw or ever expected
to see in America."
The love of things English dominated the taste of
colonial South Carolina. Whatever was the fashion
in London soon became that of Charleston. Caro-
linians imported most of their fine items from Eng-
land or copied English styles.
Ever pleasure-conscious, Charleston supported the
theater, opera, and horse-racing. The city became a
strong center of music, and the first subscription
musical society in America was established there.
Excerpts from the sort of music enjoyed by Caro-
linians can be heard in the "sound pods." Chamber
music, opera, and Negro spirituals, are among the
Fine items that were either imported from Eng-
land or produced by Charleston artisans are on dis-
play as examples of the wealth and sophistocation of
taste in the colonial period. Accompanying these
terns are illustrations on large moving belts and
lluminated panals. A special element of the exhibit
s the animated map showing the migration patterns
n the state and the development of transportation.
Large wall murals accompany the exhibits, adding
yet another dimension to the total audio-visual
effect and giving the visitor a rare experience in
the reviewing of history.
EXPERIMENTAL CROP GARDEN
The first experimental farm ever established in
America for the purpose of improving agriculture
was begun at Charles Towne in 1670, the first year
of settlement. The owners of Carolina, the eight
Lords and Proprietors, wanted an agricultural colony
of plantations producing staple crops for export.
"Planting is both our design and your interest . . .,"
they wrote to their agent Joseph West. In order to
determine which crops were suitable for Carolina
soil and climate, they gave to West explicit instruc-
tions for the planting of an experimental farm before
he left England.
"Mr. West, God sending you safe to Barbados,
you are there to furnish yourself with cotton seed,
Indigo seed, ginger roots . . . also you may in another
tubb carry some canes planted for a tryall, alsoe of
ye several sorts of vines of that Island and some
olive sets." They further instructed him to select
acreage for their plantation and the experimental
farm on one side of town, and they stipulated that
this land should have varying types of soil . . . "by
which means, you will come to find which soil agrees
best with every specie planted and what is the
properest time to plant in."
They went on to say that West would have only
a man or two to help him with his experiments and
that the rest of the people would be employed
planting Indian corn, beans, peas, turnips, carrots,
and potatoes with the advice of the Indians.
In the first few months the crops fared very well.
Governor Sayle wrote in the summer of 1670,
"There is nothing that wee plant, but it thrives very
In September, Stephen Bull reported that he had
planted trees of oranges, lemons, limes, "pome-
grainetts and ffigg trees and they like the ground
and thrive and fflourishe very bravely." The opti-
mism of the first few months was dampened when
many of the experimental crops were killed by the
severe winter of the first year.
The early settlers were less interested in the
experiments that they might have been because of
the natural products that could be easily obtained
and shipped out. Lumber products and animal
skins brought the first wealth to the colony. But
the experimenting with crops continued throughout
the colonial period. By 1699 great volumes of rice
were being exported. Indigo, though planted the
first year, was not successful until the I 740's when
Eliza Lucas succeeded in growing the crop and pro-
ducing the dye. The great dreams of wine and silk
production never materialized although the growing
of grapes and mulberry trees was successful. Caro-
lina exported over thirty marketable items, includ-
ing oranges, corn and peas, but none could compete
with the profits from rice and indigo.
The 1670 Experimental Crop Garden at Charles
Towne Landing is a living exhibit of the plants grown
during the colonial period and includes those plants
grown by Joseph West in the experimental garden
in 1670. Among the plants that can be found grow-
ing in season in the Crop Garden are sea island
cotton, rice, bene (or seseme), tobacco, and indigo.
Peaches, citrus fruits, winter wheat, flax, and herbs
are included. The Experimental Crop Garden was
iniatially designed by Clemson University, an insti-
tution that has continued the tradition of agricul-
tural experimentation in South Carolina. Students of
horticulture at the Berkeiey-Charleston-Dorchester
County Technical Education Center plan and main-
tain the garden each year.
HISTORIC SITE ARCHAEOLOGY
In October 1968 the Institute of Archaeology
and Anthropology of the University of South Caro-
lina was supported by the South Carolina Tricen-
tennial Commission in conducting a study at Old
Town Plantation, in order to locate and identify
any remains of the 1670-1680 English settlement,
Charles Towne, and to submit recommendations for
the interpretation and development of the site.
Prior to the archaeologists' work, an exhaustive
study had been made of all known information re-
corded at the time of the founding of the town.
This material was obtained from three principal
sources: the Culpepper Map of 1671, the earliest
map of the town; the Shaftesbury Papers, a collec-
tion of letters and reports from the settlers and the
Lords Proprietors; and reports and statements ob-
tained from spies from the Spanish city of Saint
Augustine, the North American stronghold of Eng-
land's colonial rival. These last documents had been
preserved in the Spanish archives at Seville.
Using the information from these early docu-
ments, the archaeologists began to search for clues
in order to piece together the story of the settle-
ment in 1670. The archaeologist on the site was
Stanley South, assisted by John Combes. Following
the preliminary work, full scale excavation was begun
by Mr. South in the spring of 1969 and continued
for seven and one-half months. History unfolded as
the archaeologists with the assistance of high school
and college students continued their search for tell-
tale evidence of walls, ditches, fires, post-holes, and
artifacts. As they dug out the protective ditches,
they uncovered 17th century nails, pipes, pottery
fragments, gunflints, and musketb'alls. The Indian
beads and pottery contemporary with the settle-
ment gave evidence to the Indian trade. In other
areas they found clothing hooks, hinges, china, and
a fragment of armor, all indicating the 17th century
occupancy of the area.
From the early letters it was known that an area
of ten acres had been enclosed the first year. The
palisade described by the settlers extended 50 yards
across the narrow neck of Albemarle Point, running
from the Ashley River Marsh on the east to a finger
of Old Town Creek on the west. No traces of a pali-
sade were found in this area, but digging deep
beneath the plowed surface in the adjacent area to
the north, the archaeologists found a vein of dark
brown humus soil, an indication of a ditch that had
been filled in. The ditch found appeared to coin-
cide with the north property lines on the 1671 Cul-
The report prepared by Camunas described the
fortification as being a wall of heavy logs about
seven feet tall. This palisade wall was reconstructed
by the archaeologists on the low earthen parapet
behind the shallow ditches separating the peninsula
from the higher ground to the north and northwest.
Along the southern edge of the site facing Old
Town Creek, a ditch or moat about eight feet deep
and some 400 yards long was found that stretched
across the tip of the peninsula connecting the marsh
on either side. Just as it is believed the early settlers
did, the archaeologists removed the earth from the
ditch and placed it beside the ditch to form a wall
or parapet about seven feet high. Although ac-
counts vary, the number of embrasures cut for the
artillery pieces (sakers and demi-culverins) was based
on the report by Camunas, who counted twenty-
eight pieces of artillery, twelve of which were pointed
towards the river.
The ^archaeologists' excavations and present pali-
sade enclose more than ten acres on the peninsula,
but the area between the palisade wall on the north
and the moat and earthen parapet on the south is
approximately ten acres. This fact, in addition to the
seventeenth century artifacts found in both ditches,
led the archaeologists to deduce that this was part
of the defensive fortification built in the first year
In the following months settlers continued to come
to Carolina, and the settlement at Charles Towne
extended its boundaries. In 1672 Camunas stated
that the village existed outside the fortified area,
but that there were no formal streets.
Inside the fortifications, he noticed only crude
lodgings which had been built when the settlers first
arrived. To date, no records have been found tc
show size, quality, or material used for any of the
buildings of Charles Towne. The evidence seems tc
indicate that it was a scattered settlement, irregu-
larly laid out, and not densely populated. No actual
house foundations or wells were found by the archae-
ologists, but extensive work was not carried out
beyond the fortification ditches. Perhaps future
archaeology will reveal a house foundation from the
The opened ditches and parapets on the site to-
day represent the fortified area in the 1670-1672
period. In 1672, the same year that Camunas visited
Charles Towne, the original bounds of the fortified
area were expanded and the surveyor was ordered
to lay out a new palisade. As the settlers continued
to pour into the new colony, the need for a better
situation for the town became acute.
Finally in 1679, the decision was made to move
the town proper to the peninsula called "Oyster
Point" at the conjunction of the two rivers, the Ash-
ley and the Cooper. The fine natural harbor and the
unobstructed view of the sea there made it a logical
choice. Governor William Sayle had reserved it as
the site of a future town as early as I 670.
Streets were laid out and a fortifying wall begun.
Then in 1680 when the population had grown to
approximately 1,100 people, "Oyster Point" offi-
cially became the site of Charles Towne. The land
where the "old town" had existed was consolidated
eventually into a plantation known as Old Town
Archaeological excavations at Old Town Planta-
tion were not confined to the site of the 1670-1672
fortified area. The archaeologists did preliminary
studies of an eighteenth century plantation house,
the Horry-Lucas House, and they also found evi-
dence of Indian habitation dating from 4000 B.C.
The ruins of the Horry-Lucas House were identi-
fied as the home built about 1780 by Elias and Eliza-
beth Horry. In 1835 the property was conveyed to
Jonathan Lucas. From the ruins, the archaeologists
know that the house burned sometimes afterwards.
All that is left of the Horry-Lucas House is the base-
ment floor, part of the steps, and a brick and plaster
bathtub which is a very unique feature of houses of
Baked clay objects (balls and discs) dating from
2500 B.C. and projectile points dating from 4000
B.C. were found as the archaeologists searched for
English artifacts of the seventeenth century. Possibly
the baked clay objects were used as boiling stones
for cooking food in pits.
The most significant early Indian remains were
found as the archaeologists surveyed the site chosen
for the exhibit pavilion. Remains of postholes and
many Indian burials were found. Further excavation
revealed an area roughly 200 feet square enclosed
by palisade walls. There were indications that the
palisade wall had been rebuilt twice after the origi-
nal construction. Post holes also outlined a circular
structure measuring 32 feet across which protected
the entrance. Inside the enclosed area a central
building was suggested by the evidence of post
holes. In the same area similar evidence indicated
corn cribs or small sheds. The central building may
have been a temple and the small sheds used for
religious purposes. In addition to a number of
burials, the archaeologists found interesting exam-
ples of pottery in excellent condition identified as
the Pee Dee and dating probably from the six-
teenth century. Some of the pottery is on exhibit in
The archaeological work done in 1969 raised
almost as many questions as it answered. Evidence
of two tar-kilns, a number of grape vineyards along
with the Indian artifacts were uncovered as they
worked on the site of the first permanent settlement.
Further studies are being conducted in the hopes of
finding more and more evidence of the Indian occu-
pation of the area and of the 1670 settlement.
Loaded with colonists and supplies, the "shipp
Carolina friggatt," the ship PORT ROYAL, and the
sloop or shallop the ALBEMARLE, reached Barba-
dos from England by November 1669. But soon
after the ALBEMARLE was wrecked by a hurricane
at Nevis and the PORT ROYAL at Abaco in the
Bahamas. Their passengers were later brought to
Carolina in replacement vessels. The CAROLINA,
the only ship to complete the entire voyage, reached
the coast of Carolina in March, 1670 and finally
landed at Charles Towne, Albemarle Point, in April
A beautifully hand-crafted model of the CARO-
LINA, the largest of the three vessels, is a perma-
nent exhibit in the Charles Towne Landing pavilion.
An exhaustive research was carried out by William
Avery Baker, N.A., for the design of the model; Erik
A.R. Ronnberg, Jr., of South Dartmouth, Massachu-
setts, did the construction.
A scale of 1/2 i ncn f° r the model was agreed upon
as that size would allow the rigging to be repro-
duced in true scale throughout. Research failed to
document the exact tonnage of the CAROLINA,
but the cost of purchase and outfitting as well as an in-
ventory have been preserved. From these and other
known factors, Mr. Baker estimated the tonnage to
be approximately 240 tons. Rather than use average
dimensions, the CAROLINA was built using the di-
mensions of a merchant ship built in England in 1676
whose tonnage was 229 tons. The length of the keel
was given as 76' 4" and the breath to the outside
of the planking as 23' 9".
The hull up to the water line was carved from a
block of wood, but above that the model was
planked as on a real ship. The lion figurehead and
all other decorations were carved separately and
applied to the basic structure. The CAROLINA car-
ries a total of I 6 mounted guns.
Erik A.R. Ronnberg, Jr., the son of a Swedish sea
captain, is at present the curator of a major marine
museum. Mr. Baker is a noted naval architect of
Hingham, Massachusetts. His private design work
includes the full-scale reconstructions of MAY-
FLOWER II and the ADVENTURE, a 17th century
trading ketch moored at Charles Towne Landing.
The ADVENTURE, a full-scale reproduction trad-
ing ketch of the late seventeenth century, was built
for Charles Towne Landing to dramatize the trad-
ing activities of colonial South Carolina. Vessels
similar to the ADVENTURE traded extensively along
the eastern coast and with the colonies in the West
Indies. Laden with lumber products, animal skins,
beef, and tobacco, trading vessels left the port of
Charles Towne returning weeks later with rum, sugar,
and other commodities. With an average speed of
three knots, the 2500 mile trip to Barbados took
from two to six weeks depending upon the weather.
The name "Adventure" was chosen from among
the popular names for trading vessels of that period.
The vessel was researched and designed by the re-
nowned naval architect, William Avery Baker, NA,
and built in Cambridge, Maryland, by James B.
Richardson. Totally hand-built, the ADVENTURE
took Mr. Richardson some ten months to complete.
Had the ADVENTURE been built in South Carolina
in the late 1 7th century, completion would have
taken the settlers from one and one half to two
The ADVENTURE, a rather large ketch of the
period, is 53 feet long, 15 feet wide, and draws ap-
proximately six feet of water. Woods indigenous to
Carolina were used throughout: the framing and
planking are of oak and the decks and interior are
of pine. The fir mainmast, which was once the mast
for a World War I schooner, extends upwards for
67 feet and carries two square sails. The mizzen
mast has a lateen sail. (In keeping with tradition,
coins were placed under both masts for good luck.)
The vessel also carries a stay sail and a jib. Below
are sleeping quarters for the crew which averaged
Approximately twenty tons of cargo can be car-
ried in the hold of the ADVENTURE. The floor
boards are loose so that the weight of the ballast
can be regulated according to the amount to cargo.
(Many cobblestone streets in Charleston were made
from discarded ballast.)
A small canoe or punt was towed along to take
cargo and crew to shore if the ketch could not get
close enough to unload. The punt tied to the AD-
VENTURE was constructed by Mr. Richardson from
a 500 year old cypress log. It weighs 1400 lbs. and
draws about two feet of water. Both the punt and
the ADVENTURE are seaworthy and have been
sailed several times in Charleston Harbor.
THE ANIMAL FOREST
Charles Towne Landing's Animal Forest is a unique
approach to the display of wildlife, as the anirrrals
indigenous to Carolina three hundred years ago are
displayed in a natural habitat wildlife area. Designed
by Jim Fowler, one of America's best known wildlife
authorities, the 20 acre forest contains winding trails
and pathways that take the visitors through an
ecologically correct habitat in which the wildlife is
seen in its natural setting. There are no (zoo-type)
obstructions between viewers and animals, and en-
closures are hardly visible. In the words of Jim
Fowler, one of the purposes of the forest is to "cre-
ate interest, respect, and understanding of the ani-
mal's role in nature and a desire to protect it from
Many of the animals in the forest are seldom seen
by today's urban, dwellers. In the small animal habi-
tats, designed to resemble the settlers back yards,
raccoons sleep in the top of trees while red foxes
play about on the ground below. Not far away, an-
other nocturnal animal, the bobcat, sleeps away the
day perched on his favorite limb. In other areas,
bison, deer, and elk graze undisturbed by the pres-
ence of man. For today's visitor, a walk through the
Animal Forest offers an opportunity for involvement
in nature, an experience too seldom enjoyed in to-
To hear the howl of the large timber wolves or to
see the puma sharpening his claws on an aged oak,
brings to mind the feelings of wonder or fear that
the settlers experienced as they found these animals
in the woods near their homes. In 1670, Florence
O'Sullivan wrote to the Lords Proprietors from
Charles Towne that, "The Country proves good be-
yond expectations and abounds in all things as good
Oake, Ash, Deare Turkies, partridges, rabbits, tur-
tle and fish . ..." A later description to the Lords
written in March 1671 by an avid outdoorsman
spoke of the wonders of the forests. "It would ravish
(sic) a man to heare in the morning ye various notes
and ye chanting Harmonious sounds w ch these dainty
Wing'd creatures soe delicately warble forth in ye
Aire. And for hunting here is pleasure enough mixt
w th something of profitt. The woods are full of
Deare, hares, Connys & divers other beasts worth
looking after. Good turtelling in time of yeare ....
Yet we are something in feare of ye Wolves w ch are
An act of 1690 required of Indians, "one woolfes,
tygers or bears or two catt skinns" yearly. Too mind-
ful of protecting their cattle, hogs, sheep and goats
to consider the ecological value of the animals, the
colonists passed acts "to encourage destroying
beasts of prey," promising money for every "wolf,
Tyger bear or catt." Killing for bounties or for the
fur trade eventually extirpated Bison, elk, wolves,
beaver, puma and deer from Carolina. (The area has
since been repopulated with deer and beaver.)
A walk through the Animal Forest reminds the
visitor of the great variety of wildlife that no longer
inhabits South Carolina. Buffalo ranged this area
only through the I770's. The last elk was reportedly
killed in South Carolina in Fairfield County, while
wolves and mountain lions were eradicated in South
Carolina by about 1850. Although no mountain lions
have been captured and preserved in recent years,
reports of seeing these big cats continue to center
around the Savannah River Basin.
Many animals known to have existed in the 1670
period receive no mention in the early descriptions,
but the drawings of the Frenchman, Jacques Le
Moyne, in the I 500's picture elk and alligators often.
Logan in his History of the Upper Country of South
Carolina lists panthers, buffalo, and elk as animals
remembered by the older inhabitants of the area.
An old pioneer is quoted by Logan as saying
he counted buffalo herds of a hundred animals graz-
ing in the Abbeville and Edgefield area.
The birds of colonial South Carolina came in for
special attentions from early ornithologists. (The
birds recorded in colonial South Carolina by Mark
Catesby for his work, A Natural History of Carolina,
Florida, and the Bahama Islands, were used by Lin-
naeus to describe North American birds.) Early
accounts from the settlers refer to turkeys, geese,
cranes, herons, curlews, pigeons, turtle doves, part-
ridge, and parakeets. (The parakeets refer to the
Carolina Parakeet, now extinct.) Many early accounts
tell of the domestication of cranes by the Indians.
Jim Fowler, of the Wild Kingdom TV series fame,
developed the unique design of Charles Towne
Landing's Animal Forest. After years of working
with animals and studying their habits, Fowler is well
qualified to design this type of display. In addition
to co-hosting the award-winning Wild Kingdom
series, he is associated with the Explorers Club
and the World Center for Exploration, and is on the
Board of Directors of the Lincoln Park Zoo in
Over three centuries have passed since Charles
Towne and Carolina were settled. The small point of
land on the west bank of the Ashley River which saw
the first landing and settlement of the English colo-
nists in 1670 was deserted after ten years time, as
the growing colony moved across the river to the
peninsula called "Oyster Point." The "old town"
site returned to woods and fields and has remained
virtually undisturbed ever since.
Today the site of the first Charles Towne exists
in the midst of a large metropolitan area; but in the
guiet beauty of the garden area, a visitor feels re-
moved from the pace of twentieth century life. The
carefully landscaped gardens represent the lifetime
work of Mrs. Joseph I. Waring, whose family, the
Legares, acguired Old Town Plantation in the mid-
nineteenth century. The historically significant plan-
tation was sold to the state of South Carolina in
1968 for public use and. continued preservation.
The area that was once Charles Towne has been
known as Old Town Plantation since the 1690's when
it was granted to James LeSade. Since that time it
has been owned by Cartwrights, Branfords, Horrys,
Lucases, and most recently the Legares. The story of
Mrs. Waring's determined efforts to improve and
preserve the property adds to the magic of its his-
tory. When she inherited the property in the 1930's,
she immediately began the project which would
realize her ambition of developing her birthplace
and girlhood home. Her plan was to enhance the
natural beauty of the plantation in the hopes that
some day it would be open for public enjoyment.
Working tirelessly to reclaim the land from the
overgrown wilderness, she created beautiful lagoons
from the marshlands, built causeways and roads, re-
stored her family home, and planted the garden
area. To help finance her project, she ran an egg
business and grew flower bulbs commercially.
Over the years she planted more than 200 live
oak trees, approximately 1,000 camellias, and as
many azaleas. Pampas grass, palmettos, crepe myrtle,
and tea olives are among the plants included in the
many varieties of plants and trees that now form
one of America's most beautiful English park gar-
dens. All of the plants were placed at Old Town by
Mrs. Waring with the exception of the largest
camellias, which were planted by her father, Con-
gressman George Seabrook Legare, and the mag-
nificent ancient oaks. These large oaks are several
hundred years old and were undoubtedly living when
the English colonists arrived.
Seven miles of bicycle and walk trails afford access
to the eighty acres of landscaped gardens as well
as to the wooded area and surrounding marshlands.
Along the way, visitors are often treated to glimpses
of the beautiful egrets and ibis, two of the many
types of shorebirds that are attracted to the park.
Occasionally a lazy alligator or a group of turtles
may be seen sunning on the bank. Touring cars
(guide driven) are also available for leisurely rides
through the garden area, once the site of settlers'
The Spanish spy, Camunas, reported in 1672 that
there were some ninety houses in the village, but no
formal streets. No evidence of these houses has
been found to date, but the archaeological work at
Charles Towne Landing is continuing. There are few
contemporary descriptions of the town extant and
these few are vague. None of the existing letters or
records mention the exact location of any building
or describe the size or materials used. The only map
known to have been prepared of Charles Towne was
done in 1671 by John Culpepper, a surveyor. Cul-
pepper included town lots, but on the reguest of the
Council at Charles Towne in June 1672 these lots
were turned in by the owners and new ones were
issued. On Culpepper's map, a four-acre tract to the
northwest of the town was laid out for a churchyard
by Governor William Sayle and also in that area, a
sixteen-acre area for himself. This area has been
identified as the land to the west of the Warings"
home stretching to "Peter's Landing," which was
named for a Negro slave who fished from that point
for many years. Whether or not Sayle ever built a
home on this point is not known, as he died in the
same year that Culpepper's map was being done.
A century later the slave settlement or "street", as
the double row of houses was often called, existed
in this same general area.
Two house foundations have been located in the
present park. One of these appears to have been
built about 1690 and may have belonged to the
first owner of Old Town Plantation, James LeSade.
The basement floor is all that is left of the second
structure, once an imposing plantation house built
in the I780's by Elias Horry.
The house now occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Waring
was built before her great-grandparents purchased
the property in the I 860's, but the house has been
renovated and enlarged by the Warings in recent
years. The smaller house near the Warings' home
was given to the county of Charleston by Mrs. War-
ing's father to be used as a school house, probably
the first public school in the county. Later it was
renovated as a private residence.
Old Town Plantation has known many enterpriz-
ing owners. Evidence of early vineyards located by
the archaeologists probably date from the colonial
period when the large-scale production of wine was
a dream for many that never became profitable. The
remains of two tar kilns have also been found, remi-
niscent of a time when South Carolina was one of
the world's largest producers of tar, pitch, and resin.
In the nineteenth century, Mrs. Waring's grand-
father, Edward Thomas Legare, operated a large
dairy farm on Old Town Plantation. In the area
where the pavilion and administrative buildings now
stand were once the chicken houses built by Mrs.
Waring for her egg business.
The history of the Low Country and Carolina is
interwoven into the history of Old Town Plantation.
For thousands of years before the Europeans set-
tled the area, various Indian groups had lived on
this land. As plans were made to build the exhibit
pavilion, the archaeologists uncovered the site of an
Indian ceremonial center that existed for about 30
years in the sixteenth century. During the American
Revolution, this site was chosen by the British for the
placement of an artillery redoubt to guard the Ash-
ley River during the seige of the city of Charleston
in 1780-1781. The remains of this redoubt were
found just outside the 1670 fortified area. The fan-
shaped structure would have held a large piece of
artillery on a platform on the top.
For so much to have happened in one small area
seems incredible, but the real miracle of Old Town
Plantation is that it has remained intact, when all
the surrounding lands were being carved up for de-
velopments. The credit for its preservation belongs
to Dr. and Mrs. Waring. To the thousands who come
to Charles Towne Landing annually, the beauty of
the park will remain a tribute to their foresight
Due to problems of time, certain aspects of the
overall plans for the development of Charles Towne
Landing were unable to be realized prior to the
end of the Tricentennial celebration year. The Tri-
centennial Commission is turning back to the state
of South Carolina remaining funds in the hopes that
some of these plans will be carried out.
Among the plans is the projected bell tower
which will rise almost a hundred feet above the ma-
jestic oaks of the gardens. A carillon of 36 bronze
bells hung between three pilasters of the tower is
being made by the Van Bergen Company of Green-
wood, South Carolina. The Van Bergen firm is one
of the few companies left in the United States that
still manufactures true bell carillons.
Another projected long range plan will be the
restoration of the Governor's Plantation. The Tri-
centennial Commission began considerable research
towards the realization of this goal and laid the
groundwork for the possible completion of the proj-
ect by 1976, the United States Bicentennial year.
THE SOUTH CAROLINA
Thomas O. Lawton, Jr., Chairman
Joseph H. McGee, Vice-Chairman
W. Wright Bryan Thomas H. Pope
Anne Springs Close Laura J. Quattlebaum
Wayne W. Freeman George C. Rogers, Jr.
T. Edmond Garrison Robert B. Scarborough
Rufus W. Gosnell Eleanore Smith
W. Brantley Harvey, Jr. Harvey S. Teal
T. C. Hooper Thomas E. Thornhill
J. M. Lesesne, Jr. John C. Williams, Jr.
T. Travis Medlock Eugene N. Zeigler
Maceo Nance, Jr.
James M. Barnett, Executive Director
CHARLES TOWNE LANDING STAFF
General Manager Jim P. Demos
Assistant Manager James B. Plair
Assistant to the Manager Lucia L. Harrison
Assistant to the Manager Virginia E. Cleveland
Chief of Security Jerry Lamberth
Bookkeeper Zonie Ruff
Secretary Delia Sellman
Superintendent of the Grounds Neal E. Colvard
Superintendent of Buildings Earl J. Colvard